Our mission & values

Community Financial Services Group (CFSG) is a Vermont-based trust company that provides local, personal service to clients in Vermont, New Hampshire and beyond. Community Financial has been providing trust and investment management services for clients since 1926. Our seasoned staff specializes in providing unbiased, comprehensive financial advice, managing over $500 million in assets.

We listen and take the time to get to know you so we can completely understand your financial situation and goals. We believe in offering unbiased, comprehensive advice to our clients. Our mission is to improve the well-being of our clients’ financial and emotional lives by providing complete financial and investment guidance as their trusted advisors.

Our investment approach

CFSG’s equity investment approach is more of a “bottom up,” value-oriented process. We obtain a lot of our ideas for stock selection  from research and periodicals, however, quantitative analysis is paramount to our stock selection process. We review relative valuations of P/E ratios, cash flow, PEG ratios, debt ratios, book value, dividend yield, etc. and compare valuations to the past and to peers.  Additionally, we review finances, balance sheets, income statements and general fundamentals for the company and the industry, taking competition into consideration.

Some of the criteria used to screen equity candidates include:

  • Price relative to earnings growth
  • Price relative to book value
  • Stocks that are down in price (i.e. oversold, negative announcement)
  • Clean financials
  • Low debt for industry or manageable debt
  • Strong management
  • Inside ownership of stock and inside buying
  • “Hidden” assets or under-reported assets
  • Some catalyst for change (new technology/new distribution, etc.)
  • Strong technical trading pattern

We also must consider what the catalyst for change is. When one of the original reasons we purchased a stock is no longer valid, then we review the security to determine whether it should be replaced.

Fixed income portfolios

Typically these consist of individual certificates of deposit, government and agency bonds, and corporate bond exposures established using ETFs and mutual funds to diversify risk. We believe a disciplined dynamic asset allocation and a bond duration management strategy can enhance investment returns and reduce portfolio risk over time. Accordingly, the average bond portfolio duration may be expanded by several years if it is evident that yields are trending lower as part of a major monetary cycle. Bond portfolio duration may be shortened if the probability of a higher interest rate environment in the near future is above average.

We evaluate the interest rate environment and devise a strategy to maximize total return while limiting downside market and credit risk. We then review your specific tax situation to determine if tax advantaged investments should be considered. Using this system and considering each unique tax situation, we choose the appropriate fixed income investments for you.

Our team

Meet our Trust Officers,

Mark Frederick, CTFA

President & CEO

Thomas Bright, CTFA

S.V.P. & Trust Officer

Randall Saulnier, CTFA

V.P. & Trust Officer

Shellie Wright, CTFA

V.P. & Trust Officer

Paul Valente, CTFA

Trust Officer

Joe Preddy, CFP

V.P. & Trust Officer

Sven Kvinlaug, CTFA

Trust Officer & Investment Advisor

Robert Thompson

Trust Officer

 

Meet our Board of Directors,

James Graham

President & CEO, WGSB & Chairman of the CFSG Board of Managers

Caroline Carpenter

President and CEO of National Bank of Middlebury

Kathryn M. Austin

President and CEO of Community Bancorp and Community National Bank

Michael McLaughlin

Vice President,
Bread Loaf Corporation

James Wheeler, Jr., Esq.

Lawyer & Director,
Downs Rachlin Martin P.C.

David Otterman, Esq.

Trust & Estates Lawyer,
Otterman & Allen, P.C.

Mark C. Russell

Partner at Samaha, Russell & Hodgdon PA

Cindy Myhre

Owner,
Cindy S. Myhre, CPA, PC

Carrie L. Gendreau

Owner,
The Training Connection, M.S.